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Old January 4, 2013, 12:11 AM   #19
stephen426
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Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 2,886
Please don't think I'm some crazy liberal...

I was at the park with my little girl yesterday (2.5 years old). There were a bunch of slightly older kids, ranging from 5 - 10 years old, playing with Nerf foam dart guns. They were obviously shooting the darts at each other, but they also pointed it at my daughter.

For some reason or other, it kind of bothered me. I know perfectly well that it is a toy gun and even if she were to get hit with a dart, it wouldn't hurt. At that age, I don't believe children really understand what a real gun can do. I don't even think they fully understand the concept of death yet. I feel that it may be possible that playing with toy guns, especially where they shoot each other, may cause children to lose a healthy respect for guns and the damage they can do. I'm sure many of you read about the 13 year old girl who was shot and killed when a 15 year old boy was showing off a handgun in a school bus. These are the types of incidents that could happen to anyone. Videos games like Grand Theft Auto and rap music glorify gun violence. Is there a very real connection between these things and all of these shootings (Columbine, Littleton, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, etc...)? As some have commented, guns were common place back in the day and kids even took their rifles and shotguns to school with the so they could go hunting afterwards. I'm sure most of the kids back the learned gun safety from their fathers and had a healthy respect for firearms. There were no mass shootings back then.

Obviously as children get older, they learn the difference between real life and make believe. They understand death better and they are better able to differentiate real guns from toy guns. I plan to teach my daughter to shoot and I want her to learn how to defend herself. I also want to teach her a healthy respect for guns, but I will only do so when she is older. Her male cousin who is a few months older, seems to have a fascination with SWAT police and he has a toy gun. I think it is okay to teach them to shoot at targets, but not at each other.

Have I been traumatized by the whole Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting?
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Last edited by stephen426; January 4, 2013 at 12:38 AM.
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